The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Thursday morning a September 4th IZOD IndyCar Series feasibility test. Brownsburg, Indiana based Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and driver Graham Rahal, currently 16th in points and out of contention for the championship, will run the single-car session.
According to Derrick Walker, IZOD IndyCar Series President of Competition, several track configurations will be tested using both the Turn 1 oval and Turn 1 road course set-ups.
"We are looking forward to seeing an INDYCAR run on the IMS road course and using the information to help refine the investment we are planning to make to the track portion of our overall facility planning," said Doug Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. "As we look to the future of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the goal is to make changes to the road course that provide the most flexibility for its potential use and create a layout that is entertaining for our fans and enjoyable for our drivers - whether it is for INDYCAR testing or racing, sports cars, MotoGP or other uses."
Including six Indianapolis 500 runs, Rahal competed in the 2004 Formula BMW race and started from pole finishing 2nd in the 2006 Firestone Indy Lights event on the IMS road course.
"Anytime a driver can take laps at Indianapolis, even on the road course, it is a special day and I am happy to have been asked to be part of this test and to provide some input on how an INDYCAR might perform at IMS," said Rahal. "I have raced on the road course at IMS so I already have a good idea of what to expect in an INDYCAR over most of the track. It will be particularly interesting to run the car on different portions of the track, including the turn one road course section."
Rahal will become just the 2nd driver to turn laps on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in Indy Car. 2005 and 2011 Indianapolis 500 champion and DW12 test pilot Dan Wheldon was the first in September 2011 while testing the current chassis package.
"It is important to look at all possibilities that we have in the existing layout to gain as much information as we can about how the car will perform and what changes we can offer to make it more competitive," Derrick Walker said. "In addition to considering a potential race on the IMS road course at some point in the future, one of the advantages of maximizing the current road course layout could be a future testing opportunity for INDYCAR teams, especially since so many are based in Indianapolis."
Dan Wheldon's 2011 IMS Test